FB: Wisconsin's Dayne Named "Big Ten Icon" by Big Ten Network

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Wisconsin's Ron Dayne has been named Big Ten Icon No. 13. The countdown of Big Ten Icons, presented by Discover, continues at 9 PM ET on Tuesday, Nov. 2, with a profile of the 1999 Heisman Trophy winner who remains the all-time leading rusher in NCAA FBS history. 
 
Dayne graduated from Overbrook Regional High School in Berlin Township, N.J., where he was a state champion in the shot put and discus. Recruited by some college football programs to be a fullback or an offensive lineman, Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez won the recruiting battle, promising Dayne a chance to play tailback. Dayne was the starter midway through his freshman year, and never stopped running. He totaled more than 2,100 yards and scored 21 touchdowns as a freshman, and finished his career with 6,397 rushing yards that did not even include his four outstanding performances in bowl games because of NCAA statistical guidelines at the time.
 
During Dayne's junior and senior seasons, the Badgers won back-to-back Big ten titles and posted a 21-3 record, while Dayne became only the fourth player in NCAA history to gain more than 1,000 yards in all four varsity seasons. Dayne capped his collegiate career by winning the 1999 Heisman Trophy, the Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award and the Jesse Owens Award as the Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year. His number 33 jersey was retired after his final home game at Camp Randall Stadium, the day he broke the NCAA career rushing record.
 
"I don't know anyone who has exemplified a program like Ron has," said Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who was the Badgers' football coach during Dayne's career. "Everything Wisconsin football is, Ron is. This school will be appreciating him for decades."
 
In an essay for www.BigTenIcons.com, former Chicago Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath wrote, "Combining body-builder bulk with sprinter's speed... Dayne left a trail of bodies in his wake whenever he carried the football for the Wisconsin Badgers." To read the full essay and to watch a video feature on Dayne, visit his Big Ten Icons locker at www.BigTenIcons.com.
 
The No. 1 Big Ten Icon will be revealed in March 2011. Big Ten Icons is the network's most ambitious multi-platform initiative to date. The program is counting down the top 50 student-athletes in Big Ten history, based solely on their collegiate playing careers. All student-athletes from current Big Ten schools are eligible for the network's list, even if they did not personally play in the Big Ten. Icons 50 through 21 were revealed at BigTenIcons.com. Fans can visit www.BigTenIcons.com to see a complete roster of Big Ten Icons, which also features essays, video and other key facts about each Icon's career.

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